Last week, I was chatting with Andrew Davis about the connection between online and offline behavior. He & his team shared two blog posts about the topic over at Tipping Point Labs:
Today, I want to chat about the concept of reinforcement – how businesses and individuals need to combine their offline and online efforts to supercharge the value of each and strengthen connections.
Too many businesses look at their online efforts as separate from offline – but combining the two is incredibly powerful. You can think of this in terms of research, content, marketing, products, customer service and so many other areas.
Let me share a simple example of how combining online and offline efforts strengthens and expands our professional connections. And this has nothing to do with LinkedIn. Okay, this is from the past two months of my life:
- I spoke at a small conference awhile back. While there, I met some new folks, and began following them on Twitter. (offline to online)
- Every so often, I’ll ReTweet something they say, we’ll @reply back and forth, and I will watch what they say, and whose Tweets they share. (online)
- Over the course of weeks, we get to understand each other better, and decide to meetup for lunch. (online to offline)
- A few days later, they are meeting with someone else that they know, and recommend that I meet this other person. (offline)
- We are introduced via email, begin following each other on Twitter, and reading each other’s blogs. (offline to online)
- We make plans to meetup and have a great conversation in person. (online to offline)
- During our conversation, they mention someone else I need to meet, and introduce us via email. Me and this new person begin following each other online, learning about each other and emailing. (offline to online)
- We make plans to chat on the phone to find potential ways to work together. (online to offline)
So here you have an ecosystem of relationships forming, and constantly jumping between offline and online – each reinforcing the other.
Now, imagine what this means for your business. What this means for your products, research, customer relationships and the like. If you have a ‘social media strategy’ that doesn’t connect to your offline efforts, then you aren’t properly integrating social media into your business and career.